I always look for ways to make my workouts and the workout manuals that I offer on this site more efficent. While I was ‘in the lab” the other day I started thinking about alternatives to cardio training for fat loss.
Circuit training vs cardio
Before I list what I feel are the best alternatives to cardio, please keep your personal goals in mind. Endurance athletes should only use these circuits once per week to increase they conditioning. If your goal is to train for distance then go right ahead and continue to run on the treadmill the way you are.
But if you want to increase your fat loss and give your joints some time off from the constant pounding of cardio then these circuit training options are for you.
Circuit training vs cardio: the research
A recent study examined how circuit training benefits the cardiovascular system. After all, isn’t that why most runners hate on circuit training? Here’s the study reference
Gotshalk, L.A., Berger, R.A., and Kraemer, W.J. (2004). Cardiovascular responses to a high-volume continuous circuit resistance training protocol. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(4), 760-764.
Here’s a quote from the researchers…
“This evidence-based research demonstrates that when properly performed and sequenced, a continuous circuit training protocol at a low intensity (40% 1RM) and without aerobics stations, can evoke a satisfactory cardiorespiratory response.”
As the true believers of Jimmy Smith Training, you already knew that.
Here’s my hierarchy of circuit training alternatives for cardio
- Dumbbell circuits
- Bodyweight times rounds
- Dumbbell-medicine ball circuits
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